Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "hocus-pocus" []

  • Nonsense words or phrases used as a formula by quack conjurers. (noun)
  • A trick performed by a magician or juggler; sleight-of-hand. (noun)
  • Foolishness or empty pretense used especially to disguise deception or chicanery. (noun)
  • To play tricks on; deceive. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "hocus-pocus" in a sentence
  • "In the 17th century, Archbishop of Canterbury John Tillotson speculated that the term "hocus-pocus" was rooted in the Latin "hoc est corpus" in the"
  • "“A bunch of Catholic hocus-pocus gave you a skin condition?”"
  • "In Canada, Codan is a farm involved in some Stygian hocus-pocus, breeding genetically altered sheep, and is where I found this delightful picture ..."